Late passage cells display an increase in contractile behavior

Jerome M Gibson, Stephen B. Milam, Robert J. Klebe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


During aging, alterations in the extracellular matrix and cytoskeleton have been noted. Aging affects both the structure and the biological activity of fibronectin as well as the cellular content and organization of f-actin. The purpose of this study was to examine the functional significance of such alterations. Assays for cell migration, cell spreading, collagen gel contraction, and f-actin organization were conducted using diploid cells strains of high and low population doubling level (PDL). First, an assessment of cell spreading behavior revealed that high PDL cells spread more than low PDL cells. Second, analyses performed with a modified phagokinetic track assay indicate that high PDL cells migrate (phagocytize) faster than low PDL cells. Lastly, it was found that high PDL cells contract collagen gels faster than low PDL cells. Therefore, high PDL cells are capable of exerting more force upon their extracellular matrix than low PDL cells. In agreement with previous observations, we found by phalloidin staining that the f-actin content of high PDL cells was substantially greater than that of low PDL cells. The elevated f-actin content of high PDL cells could promote increased cellular contractility thereby leading to the increase in cell spreading, migration, and collagen gel contraction observed here.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-110
Number of pages10
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1989


  • Actin
  • Aging
  • Cell adhesion
  • Cell migration
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Fibronectin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Developmental Biology


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